Crown Heights groups rally support for man who says landlord is pushing him out
The Crown Heights community has rallied in support of a man who says he is being pushed out of his home by a landlord who has offered no help to a plethora of problems.
Francis Roberts has been dealing with mold, leaks, structural issues, live chickens, threats and even squatters in his home. He believes all these issues are a ploy to encourage him to leave. His supporters also think it is a move to gentrify the street. However, Roberts says he will not be backing down.
Dozens gathered on his street to call for action, including Groups like the Crown Heights Tenant Collective and the Crown Heights Care Collective.
News 12 reported that Roberts is suing the landlord of his building, 972 Park Place LLC. His next hearing is in December.
The landlord’s lawyer told News 12 that his client denies putting forth any form of harassment and that he has no responsibility for any third parties that may have been on the premises.
The lawyer also gave News 12 a statement saying in part, “My client has acquired 972 Park Place on or about April of this year and was not able to gain access to conduct repairs…Mr. Roberts's unit was not accessible for repairs due to a hoarding problem of Mr. Roberts and his refusal to allow such repairs in the past."
The lawyer added that the landlord offered Roberts the option to relocate to a new apartment in the heart of Crown Heights.